, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 97-102,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 04 Jan 2012

Alpha shock

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Any believable prediction will be wrong. Any correct prediction will be unbelievable. Either way, a futurist can’t win. He is either dismissed or wrong … Most people, particularly most smart people … will err on the side of not being fantastical enough. Because absolutely no one wants to be dismissed. What’s the point of making a prediction if no one is listening? So 99% of future predictions will fall short of the necessary unreasonableness for a correct prediction.

–Kevin Kelly, building on Arthur C. Clarke.

Sanjay shuffled bleary-eyed into the expansive kitchen. “Lordy,” he groaned. One-thirty in the afternoon. Well, New Year’s Eve comes but once a year. Pouring himself some coffee, he sat at the table and took stock, his natural analytic bent slowly fighting to re-establish dominance. Through the floor to ceiling windows he looked out over a grey and gloomy London cityscape.

2037 was shaping up to be an important year for him. Although he was a widely respected academic, with a high Q ...